‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ by Anthony Doerr: Across Time and Space

by Mike Berry

Anthony Doerr thinks big. His latest novel, the follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, not only clocks in at more than 600 pages, but follows five major protagonists across three meticulously detailed timelines. Added to that, it focuses attention on a lost, resurrected manuscript that exemplifies the power of literature and of librarians by envisioning a magical place between Earth and Heaven. Cloud Cuckoo Land (628 pages; Scribner) is set in 15th-century Constantinople, contemporary Idaho, and aboard a generational starship in the not-too-distant future. The cast of characters includes a teenage ox driver, a young […]

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A Grieving Father Lost in the Goodness of the Past: Paul Harding’s ‘Enon’


The protagonist of Paul Harding’s new novel, Enon (Random House; 256 pages), is Charlie Crosby, a bookish, New England house painter and the grandson of George Crosby (the protagonist of Harding’s Pulitzer Prize-winning first novel, Tinkers). Enon takes as its subject a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he grieves for his only child, Kate, who is killed by a car while riding her bicycle home from the beach. In the days that follow, Charlie’s wife, Susan, departs for her parent’s house, a move that, even at the time, Charlie knows to be equal to the dissolution of their marriage. Despite these […]

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